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Replies to This Discussion

Question: What subjects or issues do sociologists deal with?

Answer: Human society itself is so complex and multidimensional; sociologists

themselves deal with a wide variety of specific subjects and issues. A short list would

include such issues as popular culture, the uses of language, social institutions,

bureaucracies, social deviance and crimes, human sexuality, class differences, racial and

 

ethnic differences, gender differences, marriages and families, education, religion,

economics and capitalism, types of political governments, social movements, population

changes, and technology. Again, this is only a partial list of subject’s sociologists study.

Question: What is status quo?

Answer: The existing conditions or circumstances. There are always those who are

interested in maintaining the status quo since they are doing well due to it and others who

oppose the status quo since it tends to exploit them or puts them in a disadvantaged

position.

Question: Why is sociology important?

Answer: It's important because what we're dealing with here is the nature of human society

and the social environment that we're all a part of. Sociology frequently deals with some of the

most critical and controversial issues concerning us today. No matter how we may feel about

these issues or even about each other, we can probably all agree that society is constantly

changing and that the need to understand each other is more crucial now than ever. In this

sense, that is where sociology and sociologists can

hopefully contribute some useful knowledge and wisdom.

Question: How is sociology different from anthropology?

Answer: Both sociology and anthropology study societies and cultures. Traditionally,

anthropology was more likely to study hunting and gathering, herding, fishing, and other

non-industrial societies, while sociology tended to focus more on industrial and postindustrial

societies. There is also a whole division of anthropology called physical

anthropology which examines teeth, bones, and other archeological evidence. Today,

anthropologists may study aspects of contemporary culture in all types of societies. They

are more likely than sociologists to use qualitative methods of research and less likely to

use quantitative methods. Some sociologists use both qualitative and quantitative data.

Not all sociologists pay a lot of attention to culture, but most social anthropologists could

never ignore culture.

Question: What is the function of kinship?

Answer: Vertical Function: Kinship systems provide social continuity by binding

together a number of generations Horizontal Function: Kinships provide social solidarity and

continuity within the same generation as well.

Question: What subjects or issues do sociologists deal with?

Answer: Human society itself is so complex and multidimensional; sociologists

themselves deal with a wide variety of specific subjects and issues. A short list would

include such issues as popular culture, the uses of language, social institutions,

bureaucracies, social deviance and crimes, human sexuality, class differences, racial and

 

ethnic differences, gender differences, marriages and families, education, religion,

economics and capitalism, types of political governments, social movements, population

changes, and technology. Again, this is only a partial list of subject’s sociologists study.

Question: What is status quo?

Answer: The existing conditions or circumstances. There are always those who are

interested in maintaining the status quo since they are doing well due to it and others who

oppose the status quo since it tends to exploit them or puts them in a disadvantaged

position.

Question: Why is sociology important?

Answer: It's important because what we're dealing with here is the nature of human society

and the social environment that we're all a part of. Sociology frequently deals with some of the

most critical and controversial issues concerning us today. No matter how we may feel about

these issues or even about each other, we can probably all agree that society is constantly

changing and that the need to understand each other is more crucial now than ever. In this

sense, that is where sociology and sociologists can

hopefully contribute some useful knowledge and wisdom.

Question: How is sociology different from anthropology?

Answer: Both sociology and anthropology study societies and cultures. Traditionally,

anthropology was more likely to study hunting and gathering, herding, fishing, and other

non-industrial societies, while sociology tended to focus more on industrial and postindustrial

societies. There is also a whole division of anthropology called physical

anthropology which examines teeth, bones, and other archeological evidence. Today,

anthropologists may study aspects of contemporary culture in all types of societies. They

are more likely than sociologists to use qualitative methods of research and less likely to

use quantitative methods. Some sociologists use both qualitative and quantitative data.

Not all sociologists pay a lot of attention to culture, but most social anthropologists could

never ignore culture.

Question: What is the function of kinship?

Answer: Vertical Function: Kinship systems provide social continuity by binding

together a number of generations Horizontal Function: Kinships provide social solidarity and

continuity within the same generation as well.

Question: How cultural change occurs?

Answer: The two principal ways that cultures change are internally through the

processes of invention and innovation and externally through the process of diffusion. It is

generally recognized that the majority of cultural features (things, ideas, and behavior

patterns) found in any society got there by diffusion rather than invention.

ABSOLUTE POVERTY : Poverty as defined in terms of the minimal requirements

necessary to afford minimal standards of food, clothing, health care and shelter.

BUREAUCRACY : A formal organization marked by a clear hierarchy of authority, the

existence of written rules of procedure, staffed by full-time salaried officials, and striving for the

efficient attainment of organizational goals.

CAPITALISM : An economic system based on the private ownership of the means of

production and distribution in which the goal is to produce profit.

ACHIEVED STATUS : A position attained through personal ability and effort.

AFFIRMATIVE ACTION : Government programs intended to assure minorities and

women of equal hiring or admission opportunities.

AGE STRUCTURE : The relative proportions of different age categories in a

population.

AIR POLLUTION : Refers to the contamination of the atmosphere by noxious

 

substances

ARRANGED MARRIAGE : Marriage based on the family ties rather than the couple's

personal preferences.

ASCRIBED STATUS : A social position that is given at birth (such as race or sex).

CAPITALISTS : Those who own companies, or stocks and shares, using these to

generate economic returns or profits.

CARRYING CAPACITY : The number of a species that a particular ecosystem can

support without suffering irreversible deterioration

CRUDE DEATH-RATE : A statistical measure representing the number of deaths per

thousand population that occur annually in a given population.

CULTURAL LAG : A dysfunction in the sociocultural system caused by change

occurring in one part of the system and the failure of another part of that system to adjust to

the change. An example would be married women engaged in outside employment and the

continuance of the domestic division of labor.

CULTURAL SUPERSTRUCTURE : Sociocultural materialism term used to refer to

the shared symbolic universe within sociocultural systems. It includes such components

as the art, music, dance, rituals, sports, hobbies and the accumulated knowledge base of

the system

CULTURAL TRANSMISSION : The socialization process whereby the norms and

 

values of the group are internalized by individuals.

CULTURE : The values, norms and material goods shared by a given group. Your

instructor prefers to restrict the term to refer to symbolic aspects (values and norms).

CULTURE OF POVERTY : The view that the poor have a different value system that

contribute to their poverty.

ECONOMY : The organization of production and distribution of goods and services within

a sociocultural system.

EDUCATION : The transmission of knowledge to members of society. The knowledge

passed on is in the form of technical and cultural knowledge, technical and social skills, as well

as the norms and values of the society.

EDUCATION SYSTEM : The system of formalized transmission of knowledge and

values operating within a given society.

EGALITARIAN FAMILY : Family arrangement in which power is shared more-orless

equally by both the wife and the husband.

EMIGRATION : The movement of people out of their native land to other countries.

ENDOGAMY : A system in which an individual may only marry within the same social

category or group.

 

ENVIRONMENT : The physical, biological and chemical restraints to which action is

subject.

ETHNOCENTRISM : The tendency to judge other cultures by the standards one's own

culture.

FECUNDITY : The number of children which is biologically possible for a woman to

produce.

HIGHER EDUCATION : Usually refers to education beyond high school level, often in

colleges or universities.

IDEOLOGY : Shared ideas or beliefs which serve to justify and support the interests of a

particular group or organizations.

IMMIGRATION : The settlement of people into a country in which they were not born.

LOCAL KNOWLEDGE : Knowledge of a local community possessed by individuals who

spend long periods of their lives in them.

MALTHUSIANISM : Thomas Malthus' theory of population dynamics, according to which

population increase inevitably comes up against the 'natural limits' of food supply. Population

grows geometrically (1, 2, 4, 8, 16,. . .) while food supply grows

arithmetically (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, . . .). The debate rages on, there are neo-malthusians and

antimalthusians among us today!

MARRIAGE : A socially approved sexual and economic relationship between two or more

individuals.

 

MATRILINEAL DESCENT : The tracing of kinship through only the female line

MINORITY GROUP (OR ETHNIC MINORITY) : A group of people who are

defined on the basis of their ethnicity or race. Because of their distinct physical or

cultural characteristics, they are singled out for unequal treatment within a society.

PROFESSIONS : Occupations requiring extensive educational qualifications, with high social

prestige, subject to codes of conduct lay down by central bodies (or professional

associations).

SELF (or SELF-CONSCIOUSNESS) : The individual's awareness of being a distinct

social identity, a person separate from others. Human beings are not born with selfconsciousness,

but acquire an awareness of self as a result of early socialization.

SERIAL MONOGAMY : The process of contracting several marriages in succession

marriage, divorce, and remarriage.

SEX : The biological categories of females and males.

SEX ROLE : The gender specific role behavior that a person learns as a member of a

particular society.

SOCIAL MOBILITY : Movement between different social positions within a

stratification system.

SOCIAL MOVEMENT : A large grouping of people who are organized to bring about, or to

block, a a change in the sociocultural system.

 

SOCIAL ROLE : The expected patterned behavior of an individual occupying a

particular status position.

SOCIALIZATION : The lifelong processes through which humans develop an

awareness of social norms and values, and achieve a distinct sense of self.

STIGMA : A symbol (or a negative social label) of disgrace that affects a person's social

identity.

STRATIFICATION : The existence of structured inequalities in life chances between

groups in society.

STRUCTURE : Sociological term to refer to all human institutions, groups and

organizations.

SUBCULTURE : A group within the broader society that has values, norms and

lifestyle distinct from those of the majority.

SURPLUS VALUE : Marx's concept for the value of an individual's labor power

(calculated by the amount of value the labor contributes to the product minus the amount of

money paid to the worker by the capitalist). The conventional name for this difference is

profit--thus the whole capitalist system is based on "expropriating" surplus value (or stealing

labor) from workers.

THIRD WORLD : Societies in which industrial production is only developed to a

limited degree. Many of these societies were former colonies of industrial states. The

majority of the world's population (over 70 percent) live in Third World countries.

TRANSITIONAL CLASSES : Marx's term to refer to social classes based on previous

relations of production which linger on in the beginning stages a new one--such as

peasants or landowners of a feudal system which has become capitalist.

CAUSATION : A 'cause and effect' relationship exists wherever a change in one

variable (the independent variable) induces change in another (the dependent variable).

Causal factors in sociology include individual motivation as well as many external

influences on human behavior that often go unrecognized.

CLASS CONSCIOUSNESS : An objective awareness of the class system, including the

common interests of people within your class.

COLONIALISM : The process whereby nations establish their political and economic rule

over less powerful nations.

COMMODITY RIOTS : Riots in which the focus of violence is the destruction of

property.

COMMUNICATION : The transmission of information from one individual or group to

another.

COMMUNISM : A set of egalitarian political and economic ideas associated with Karl

Marx in which the means of production and distribution system would be owned by the

community. "Communism" as developed by Lenin and institutionalized throughout

Eastern Europe (until 1990) and China bears little resemblance to Marx's vision.

DEVIANCE : Behaviors which do not conform to significant norms held by most of the

members of a group or society. What is regarded as 'deviant' is highly variable across

societies.

 

DYSFUNCTION : Refers to an institution's negative impact (or harmful effect) on the

sociocultural system.

ECOSYSTEM : A self-sustaining community of plants and animals within a natural

environment.

ESTATE : A form of stratification established by law.

ETHNICITY : An ethnic group is one of a common cultural identity, separating them

from other groups around them.

FEMINISM : Advocacy of the social equality of the sexes.

FERTILITY : The average number of live born children produced by women of

childbearing age in a particular society.

FORCES OF PRODUCTION : Marx's term to refer to the technology used to produce

economic goods in a society.

FUNCTIONS : The ways in which a sociocultural trait contributes toward the

maintenance or adaptation of the entire sociocultural system.

FUNCTIONALISM : A theoretical perspective that focuses on the way various parts of the

social system contribute to the continuity of society as well as the affect the various parts have

on one another.

 

GANG : An informal group of individuals that engage in common activities, many of

these activities may be outside the law.

GHETTO : A section of a city occupied predominantly by members of a single racial or

ethnic group, usually because of social or economic pressure.

HIDDEN CURRICULUM : Behavior or attitudes that are learned at school but which are

not a part of the formal curriculum. For example, aspects of classism can often be

"unintentionally" conveyed in learning materials.

INTERGENERATIONAL MOBILITY : Movement up or down the social hierarchy from

one generation to another.

KINSHIP : The network of social relationships which link individuals through common

ancestry, marriage, or adoption.

LATENT FUNCTIONS : The unintended consequences of one part of a sociocultural

system. For example, the reform of big city political machines had a lot of unintended

consequences on the governability of American cities

LEGITIMACY : The generally held belief that a particular social institution is just and

valid.

LIFE EXPECTANCY : The number of years a newborn in a particular society can

expect to live. Also refers to the number of further years which people at any given age can,

on average, expect to live.

 

LIFE-SPAN : The maximum length of life that is biologically possible for a member of a

given species.

MANAGERIAL CAPITALISM : A change in the control of capitalist enterprises from

owners (which predominated in Marx's day) to control by (very well) salaried managers.

MANIFEST FUNCTION : The intended and known consequences of one part of a

sociocultural system. For example, the reform of big city political machines had the

intended consequence of limiting (relatively) corruption by city officials

MASS MEDIA : Forms of communication designed to reach a vast audience without any

personal contact between the senders and receivers. Examples would include

newspapers, magazines, video recordings, radio and television

MATERIALISM : The view that 'material conditions' (usually economic and

technological factors) have the central role in determining social change.

MECHANIZATION : The use of machinery to replace human labor.

MIDDLE CLASS : A social class broadly defined occupationally as those working in

white-collar and lower managerial occupations; is sometimes defined by reference to

income levels or subjective identification of the participants in the study.

MIGRATION : The movement of people from one country or region to another in order to

settle permanently.

MORTALITY RATE : The number of deaths that occur in a particular population in a

specified period of time (usually a year).

NATIONALISM : An individual's internalization of the set of beliefs and values

expressing love, pride and identification with a given nation state. Ritual and symbols are

important tools in fostering nationalism among the citizenry.

NEO-LOCALITY : A family residential pattern in which the married couple lives apart

from the place of residence of both the bride's and the husband's parents

NORMS : Rules and expectations of conduct which either prescribes a given type of

behavior, or forbids it.

NUCLEAR FAMILY : A basic family group consisting of married female and male

parents and dependent children, living away from other relatives.

OPEN LINEAGE FAMILY : A family system found in preindustrial Europe in which

family relationships are closely intertwined with the local community.

POLITICAL PARTY : An organization of people with similar interests and attitudes

established with the aim of achieving legitimate control of government and using that power

to pursue a specific program.

POLYGYNY : A form of marriage in which a man may have more than one wife.

SECONDARY GROUP STRUCTURE : A term used in sociocultural materialism to

refer to structural groups in which members tend to interact without any emotional

commitment to one another.

SECONDARY LABOR MARKET : Refers to the economic position of individuals

 

engaged in occupations that provide insecure jobs, poor benefits and conditions of work.

SECULARIZATION : A process of decline in the social influence of religion.

UNCONSCIOUS : Freudian concept refering to motives and ideas unavailable to the

conscious mind of the individual.

UNION : A social organization set up to represent the worker's interests in both the

workplace and in the broader society as well.

UPPER CLASS : A social class roughly composed of the more affluent members of

society, especially those who have great wealth, control over businesses or hold large

numbers of stocks and shares.

URBAN ECOLOGY : An analysis of urban life that examines the relationship between the

city and its physical surroundings--based on an analogy with the adjustment of plants and

organisms to the physical environment.

URBANIZATION : The increasing concentration of the human population into cities.

VALUES : Culturally defined standards held by human individuals or groups about

what is desirable, proper, beautiful, good or bad that serve as broad guidelines for social

life.

VARIABLE : A characteristic that varies in value or magnitude along which an object,

individual or group may be categorized, such as income or age.

VERTICAL MOBILITY : Movement up or down a social stratification system.

 

WELFARE : Government aid (in the form of services and money) to the poor.

WEALTH : Accumulated money and material possessions controlled by an individual,

group or organization.

ZERO POPULATION GROWTH (ZPG) : Population stability achieved when each

woman has no more than two children.

ACID RAIN : The increased acidity of rainfall which is caused by emissions of sulfur

dioxide and nitrogen oxides from power plants and automobiles.

ADAPTATION : Refers to the ability of a sociocultural system to change with the

demands of a changing physical or social environment. The process by which cultural

elements undergo change in form and/or function in response to change in other parts of the

system.

AGE GRADES : System found in some traditional cultures which group the population by

sex and age. Age grades go through rites of passage, hold similar rights and have

similar obligations.

AUTHORITY : Power that is attached to a position that others perceive as legitimate.

BUREAUCRATIZATION : Refers to the tendency of bureaucracies to refine their

procedures to ever more efficiently attain their goals. More generally, refers to the

process of secondary organizations taking over functions performed by primary groups

 

CULTURAL PLURALISM : The more or less peaceful coexistence of multiple

subcultures within a given society.

CULTURAL UNIVERSALS : Values or practices shared by all human cultures.

EXPERIMENT : A research method in which variables can be analyzed under carefully

controlled conditions--usually within an artificial situation constructed by the researcher.

GESELLSCHAFT : According to Toennies, social organization based on loose

personal ties, self interest, rationalization, and impersonality.

GREENHOUSE EFFECT : The accumulation of gasses in the atmosphere that act like the

glass roof of a greenhouse, letting sunlight in but trapping the radiant heat.

IDEAL TYPE : Weber's construct of a 'pure type', constructed by emphasizing logical

or consistent traits of a given social item. The traits are defining ones, not necessarily

desirable ones. Ideal types do not exist anywhere in reality, rather they are "measures"

that we can use in comparing social phenomena. One example is Weber's ideal type of

bureaucratic organization (which are anything but desirable). More widely used (and

understood) examples would include "ideal democracy" and "ideal capitalism."

INCOME : Payment of wages usually earned from work or investments.

INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION : Economic production carried on through the use of

machinery driven by inanimate sources of power.

INDUSTRIALIZATION : The continual expanding application of sophisticated

technology designed to efficiently draw energy and raw materials out of the environment

 

and fashion them for human use.

INFANT MORTALITY RATE : The number of infants who die during the first year of

life, per thousand live births. Infant mortality rates have declined dramatically in

industrial societies.

INFORMAL RELATIONS : Relations in organizations developed on the basis of

personal connections. These ties are often used to pursue organizational goals instead of the

formally recognized procedures

IN-GROUP : A social group an individual belongs to and identifies with.

INSTITUTIONAL CAPITALISM : A condition that exists when large institutions

such as pension plans, banks, and insurance companies hold large shares of capitalistic

enterprises.

MEANS OF PRODUCTION : Marx's term referring to the means whereby the

production of material goods is carried on in a society. Marx included in this concept

both technology and the social relations among the producers (based on the ownership of that

technology).

RACE : A socially defined category of people who share genetically transmitted

physical characteristics.

RACISM : The attributing of characteristics of inferiority to a particular racial category.

Racism is a specific form of prejudice focused on race.

REBELLION : Rebellions are aimed at removing particular rulers or regimes rather

than bringing about significant structural changes in a society.

 

RELATIVE POVERTY : Poverty defined by reference to the living standards of the

majority in any given society.

RESEARCH METHODS : The diverse strategies used to gather empirical (factual)

material in a systematic way.

REVOLUTION : A process of change involving the mobilizing of a mass social

movement in order to radically transform the society.

RIOTS : An outbreak of collective violence directed against persons, property or both.

SOCIAL CHANGE : Alteration in social structures or culture over time.

SOCIAL DARWINISM : An early and now largely discredited view of social evolution

emphasizing the importance of "survival of the fittest" or struggle between individuals, groups,

or societies as the motor of development. Social Darwinism became widely

popular and was often used to justify existing inequalities.

SOCIAL DISORGANIZATION : A structural condition of society caused by rapid

change in social institutions, norms, and values.

SOCIAL EVOLUTION : Theories of social change which generally hold that human

societies move from simple to complex forms of organization.

SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS : Major structural entitities in sociocultural systems that

address a basic need of the system. Institutions involve fixed modes of behavior backed

 

by strong norms and sanctions that tend to be followed by most members of a society.

STEREOTYPE : A rigid and inflexible image of the characteristics a group.

Stereotypes attribute these characteristics to all individuals belonging to that group.

ASSIMILATION : A minority group's internalization of the values and norms of the

dominant culture.

CASTE : A closed form of stratification in which an individual's status is determined by

birth and cannot be changed.

CIVIL DISORDERS : Social conflict (such as riots) that the government becomes

involved in to restore public order.

CIVIL RIGHTS : Legal rights held by all citizens in a given state.

CLAN : A broad extended kin group found in many preindustrial societies.

CLASS : Most sociologists use the term to refer to socioeconomic differences between

groups of individuals which create differences in their life chances and power.

COMMUNAL RIOTS : Riots in which the focus of violence is other groups (usually

other race or ethnic groups).

COMMUNITY : A group of people who share a common sense of identity and interact

 

with one another on a sustained basis.

CONFLICT : A clash of interest (sometimes escalating to active struggle) between

individuals, groups or society.

CULTURAL MATERIALISM : A macro-social theory that attempts to account for the

similarities and differences between sociocultural systems by focusing on the

environmental constraints to which human action is subject. Your instructor uses a

variant of this theory constantly

DEMOGRAPHY : The scientific study of human population--including size, growth,

movement, density, and composition.

DEPENDENCY THEORY : The thesis that many Third World countries cannot

control major aspects of their economic life because of the dominance of industrialized

societies.

DEVIANT SUBCULTURE : A subculture which has values and norms which differ

substantially from those of the majority in a society.

DIFFERENTIAL ASSOCIATION : Theory of crime and delinquency that holds that

deviance is learned as a result of long-term interaction with others.

DIFFERENTIATION : The development of increasing complexity and division of

labor within sociocultural systems.

DIFFUSION : The spread of cultural traits from one sociocultural system to another.

 

DISCRIMINATION : The denial of equal access to social resources to people on the

basis of their group membership.

DIVISION OF LABOR : The specialization of work tasks or occupations. All societies

have some division of labor based on age and sex. But with the development of

industrialism the division of labor becomes far more complex which affects many parts of the

sociocultural system.

EXOGAMY : A system in which an individual may only marry outside their social

category or group.

EXTENDED FAMILY : A family group consisting of more than two generations of the

same kinship line living either within the same household or, more usually in the west, very

close to one another.

FAMILY : A group of individuals related to one another by blood ties, marriage or

adoption. Members of families form an economic unit, the adult members of which are

responsible for the upbringing of children. All societies involve some form of family,

although the form the family takes is widely variable. In modern industrial societies the

main family form is the nuclear family, although a variety of extended family

relationships are also found.

FAMILY OF ORIENTATION : The family into which an individual is born.

FEMININITY : The characteristic behaviors expected of women in a given culture.

GEMEINSCHAFT : According to Toennies, social organization based on close and

personal ties and traditional norms and values.

 

GENDER : Socially defined behavior regarded as appropriate for the members of each

sex.

GLOBALIZATION : The development of extensive worldwide patterns of economic

relationships between nations.

GREEN REVOLUTION : The tremendous increase in farming productivity that

occurred beginning in the 1950s with the application of pesticides, herbicides, chemical

fertilizers and the development of plant varieties especially bred to respond to these

chemical inputs.

HUNTING AND GATHERING SOCIETIES : Societies whose subsistence is based

primarily on hunting animals and gathering edible plants.

HYPOTHESIS : A tentative statement about a given state of affairs that predicts a

relationship between the variables, usually put forward as a basis for empirical testing.

IMPERIALISM : The establishing of colonial empires in which domination is both

political and economic.

INSTINCT : A genetically fixed pattern of complex behavior (that is, beyond reflex)

which appears in all normal animals within a given species. The behavior of humans is not

instinctual.

INTERNAL COLONIALISM : The economic exploitation of a group within a society

whereby their labor is sold cheap and they are made to pay dear for products and

services.

LONGEVITY : A long duration of life Or a long tenure in an organization.

MASCULINITY : The characteristic forms of behavior expected of men in any given

culture.

MASTER STATUS : A position that is so central to the identity of the individual that it

overshadows all other statuses.

MATRIARCHY : Social organization in which females dominate males.

MODE OF PRODUCTION : The technology and the practices employed for

expanding or limiting basic subsistence production, especially the production of food and

other forms of energy. Examples would include the technology of subsistence,

technological/environmental relationships, and work patterns.

MODERNIZATION : The process of general social change brought about by the

transition from an agrarian to an industrial mode of production.

NEO-COLONIALISM : The informal dominance of some nations over others by

means of unequal conditions of economic exchange (as between industrial and Third

World countries)..

ORGANIZED CRIME : Criminal activities carried out by organizations established as

businesses.

PASTORAL SOCIETIES : Societies whose subsistence is based on domesticated

animals

 

PEASANTS : People in agrarian societies who produce food from the land, using

traditional farming methods of plow and animal power. Farm workers in agrarian

societies.

PEER GROUP : A friendship group with common interests and position composed of

individuals of similar age.

POLITICS : Attempts to influence governmental activities

POLLUTION : One of the principal constraints of the environment. Refers to the

contamination of soil, water, or air by noxious substances

POLYANDRY : A form of marriage in which a woman may have more than one

husband.

PRIMARY GROUP STRUCTURE : A term used in sociocultural materialism to refer to

structural groups in which members tend to interact on an intimate basis. They perform many

functions such as regulating production, reproduction, socialization, education, and enforcing

social discipline. Examples include family, community, voluntary

organizations, and friendship networks.

RATIONALIZATION : Weber's concept to refer to the process by which modes of

precise calculation based on observation and reason increasingly dominate the social

world. Rationalization is a habit of thought that replaces tradition, emotion, and values as

motivators of human conduct. Bureaucracy is a particular case of rationalization applied to

human social organization.

 

RECIPROCITY : A system of the exchange of goods based on social ties.

RELIGION : A set of beliefs involving symbols regarded as sacred, together with ritual

practices in which members of the community engage.

RITUAL : Formalized ceremonial behavior in which the members of a group or

community regularly engage.

SAMPLING : Taking a small representative part of a population for purposes of

drawing inferences from the analysis of the sample characteristics to the population as a

whole.

SANCTION : A reward for conformity or a punishment for nonconformity that

reinforces socially approved forms of behavior.

SAPIR-WHORF HYPOTHESIS : The conjecture that people perceive their world

through the framework of language.

SCAPE GOATING : Blaming, punishing, or stigmatizing a relatively powerless

individual or group for wrongs that were not of their doing.

SCIENCE : The application of systematic methods of observation and careful logical

analysis; the term also refers to the body of knowledge produced by the use of the

scientific method.

SECONDARY GROUP : A group of individuals who do not know each other on a

personal level interacting in pursuit of a goal.

 

SOCIAL FORCES : The term refers to the fact that society and social organizations

exert an influence on individual human behavior.

SOCIAL GROUPS : Two or more individuals who interact in systematic ways with one

another and share a high degree of common identity. Groups may range in size from

dyads to large-scale societies.

SOCIOBIOLOGY : An approach which attempts to explain the social behavior of

humans in terms of biological principles.

SOLID WASTE : Refers to the accumulation of noxious substances.

STATE : Government institutions ruling over a given territory, whose authority is

backed by law and the ability to use force.

STATUS : A social position within a society. The term can also refer to the social honor

or prestige which a particular individual or group is accorded by other members of a

society.

SYMBOL : One item used to meaningfully represent another--as in the case of a flag

which symbolizes a nation.

TABOO : A sociocultural prohibition on some act, person, place, animal, or plant.

TECHNOLOGY : The application of logic, reason and knowledge to the problems of

exploiting raw materials from the environment. Social technologies employ the same

thought processes in addressing problems of human organization. Technology involves

the creation of material instruments (such as machines) used in human interaction with

nature as well as social instruments (such as bureaucracy) used in human organization

 

TERRORISM : The use of violence to achieve political ends. Many would restrict the

definition to include only those acts committed by non-government groups, but state

terrorism is also a major factor in the social world.

THEORY : Summary statements of general principles which explain regularly observed

events.

TRADITIONAL STATES : Societies in which the production base is agriculture or

pastoralism.

CONFORMITY : Human behavior which follows the established norms of a group or

society. The bulk of human behavior is of a conforming nature as people accept and

internalize the values of their culture or subculture

CONSENSUS : Agreement on basic social values by the members of a group or society.

CONTRADICTION : Marx's term to refer to mutually antagonistic tendencies within

institutions or the broader society such as those between profit and competition within

capitalism.

CORPORATIONS : A legally recognized organization set up for profit--the powers

and liabilities of the organization are legally separate from the owners or the employees.

CRIME : Any action that violates criminal laws established by political authority.

CRUDE BIRTH-RATE : A statistical measure representing the number of births per

thousand population within a given year.

 

DEFORESTATION : The removal of all trees from an area

DEMOCRACY : A form of government that recognizes the citizen as having the right

to participate in political decision-making, or to elect representatives to government

bodies.

DEMOGRAPHIC TRANSITION : A stabilization of population level in industrial

society once a certain level of economic prosperity has been reached. Population is

thought to stabilize because of economic incentives on families to limit the number of

children.

DENSITY : A measure of human crowding usually expressed as the number of people per

square mile.

ECOLOGY : The study of the system of relationships between organisms and their

environment.

ECONOMIC INTERDEPENDENCE : Comte and Durkheim both refer to the fact that in

societies with a high division of labor individuals depend more on others to produce most of

the goods they need to sustain their lives.

FAMILY OF PROCREATION : The family we create through marriage.

LAW : A written rule established by a political authority and backed by government.

MARXISM : Contemporary social theory deriving its main elements from Marx's ideas.

 

Marxist theory strongly emphasizes class struggle and material causation.

MATRILOCALITY : A family residential pattern in which the husband is expected to live

near to the wife's parents

MONOGAMY : A form of marriage that joins one male and one female at any given

time.

MORES : Norms that have strong moral significance, violation of which cause strong

social reaction (murder, sexual molestation of children).

OBJECTIVITY : Objectivity means striving as far as possible to reduce or eliminate bias

in the conduct of research.

ORGANIZATION : A large group of individuals that is formally organized for the

purpose of attaining a goal.

PATRIARCHY : Social organization that structures the dominance of men over

women.

PATRILINEAL DESCENT : The practice of tracing kinship only through the male

line.

POLYGAMY : A form of marriage in which a person may have more than one spouse.

POSITIVISM : A philosophical position according to which there are close ties

between the social and natural sciences, which share a common logical framework.

 

POSTINDUSTRIAL SOCIETY : A society based on the production of services and

information rather than material goods.A notion advocated by those who believe that the

industrial order is passing.

POWER : The ability to achieve aims or further the interests you hold even when

opposed by others.

POWER ELITE : According to C. Wright Mills the power elite are men in the highest

positions of government, corporations and the military who hold enormous power in modern

industrial societies.

PREJUDICE : The holding of unfounded ideas about a group, ideas that are resistant to

change.

PRESTIGE : Social respect accorded to an individual or group because of the status of

their position.

PRIMARY DEVIANCE : The deviant act itself, the violation of a norm.

PRIMARY GROUP : A typically small group of individuals standing in an enduring

personal relationship to one another examples would include parents, spouse, or close

friends.

SOCIALISM : An economic system in which the means of production and distribution of

goods and services are publically owned.

SOCIETY : A society is a group of people who live in a particular territory, are subject to a

common system of political authority, and share a common culture.

 

SOCIOLOGICAL IMAGINATION : A term used by C. Wright Mills that refers to the

application of imaginative thought to the asking and answering of sociological questions.

SOCIOLOGY : The study of human behavior and societies, giving particular emphasis to

the industrialized world.

SURVEY : A questionnaire or interview.

SYMBOLIC INTERACTIONISM : A theoretical approach in sociology which focuses on

social reality as constructed through the daily interaction of individuals and places

strong emphasis on the role of symbols (gestures, signs, and language) as core elements

of this interaction.

WELFARE STATE : A government system which provides a range of human services for

its citizens.

WHITE-COLLAR CRIME : Criminal activities carried out by white-collar or

professional workers in the course of their jobs.

WORKING CLASS : A social class of industrial societies broadly composed of people

involved in manual occupation. The bulk of these jobs are unskilled, poorly paid and provide

few benefits or job security.

AOA!sir,please give the solution of first quiz

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